Blogs

Brandon Sawyer: Hemp, hemp, hurray

imo-blogTuesday evening while other politicians watched returns and rehearsed election party speeches, Portland’s well-regarded former mayor Bud Clark was waxing eloquent on another subject: “Industrial hemp is not marijuana,” he declared. “You can’t smoke hemp. It’s like smoking rope… It’s a good thing and it can be made here in America.” Clark was enumerating the economic virtues of industrial hemp as co-emcee of the first annual Hemp History Week, marked by almost 200 events in 31 states and the nation’s capital.

Jobs Watch: Learning from the numbers

ben-blogEver since I was a kid calculating my batting average in between pitches, I’ve always loved numbers. I relish a fresh stack of statistics, and that’s exactly what we have between the new jobs figures and the election results. Are there lessons to be learned from these numbers? I believe there are.

On The Scene: Bootstrapping your way to success

sceneblogbw Waiting for investors can mean trouble for startups, especially in Portland's capital-starved market. Four successful entrepreneurs spoke at OEN's PubTalk last Wednesday about the pros and cons of bootstrapping, and the benefits of taking orders from your customers instead of an investor.

Jobs Watch: The Boyle plan

ben-blogNo, Tim Boyle is NOT moving Columbia Sportswear to Chicago or anywhere else. His notoriously tough mother, Gert, isn't going anywhere either. As for his first grandchild (her first great-grandchild), the Boyle plan is to keep him in Oregon as well, or more specifically, to create a future Oregon so full of opportunity that he won't want to live anywhere else.

Editor's Notes: Closing the poverty gap

robin-BLOGThe recession destroyed more than 8 million jobs. And while a federal report issued last week showed that the nation gained back 290,000 of those jobs in April, it will be a long time before the economy will be able to soak up the millions who are unemployed.

On The Scene: Gen Y saves the day

sceneblogbwThe recently released numbers on Portland home prices say it all. With prices falling 21% from their peak in July 2007, the local real estate sector has a long road ahead to recovery. But some say the key to saving the industry, both locally and beyond, is targeting the growing masses of Generation Y consumers who are already on their way to reshaping the economy.

Jobs Watch: Solar hiring ramps up

ben-blogGubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley told a roomful of business leaders at a recent forum that he would protect their interests over those of an "out of state energy company" seven days a week. His point is well taken, given the well-documented abuses of tax credits by some of these outsiders. But some of the best jobs news coming out of Oregon can be attributed to energy companies based far out of state.

Editor's Notes: The Rural Economy Project

robin-BLOGIt’s unusual for Oregon’s rural communities to get the spotlight. With most of the population of the state living in the Portland Metro area, rural towns are out of sight and generally out of mind. Rural leaders for years have told me that they figure they are pretty much on their own to reinvent their depressed economies, and unfortunately I have to agree with them.

Jobs Watch: The intern hiring index

ben-blogIn the best of times, it isn't unusual for talented young interns to work their way into a full time job or, failing that, get snagged by a competitor. In the worst of times, they search and search for something, anything resembling full time work — and eventually move to places like San Francisco, reinforcing the message that Oregon may be a nice place to live, but there are no jobs here.